Rowland Holt 1652-1719

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Rowland HOLT 1652-1719

Biographical Note

Younger son of Sir Thomas Holt of Thame, Oxfordshire, MP and judge. His elder brother Sir John Holt had a distinguished legal career, becoming Lord Chief Justice in 1689. Rowland's education and early career are not recorded - he is not in the university lists - but he followed the family tradition in the law, and became chief prothonotary of the Court of King's Bench in 1696. He inherited his brother's estate at Redgrave Hall, Suffolk in 1710.

The advertisement from The Post Boy, May 1719, for the sale of Holt's library


Sir John's books were bequeathed to Rowland's son John; this library was auctioned in 1729. Rowland's books were sold by retail sale in London, beginning 5 May 1719, as part of a joint sale with the books of "an eminent surgeon"; no catalogue survives, but the sale was advertised in several newspapers as "consisting of a very valuable collection of voyages, travels, common and statute law, husbandry, trade, physick, politicks, lives, poetry, architecture, &c" It was also noted that "most of the books are neatly bound, some in Turkey, Morocco, tortoise shell, and other curious bindings". Holt's very brief will has no mention of books, and most of his estate was left to his wife.